MONTREAL - There will be no charges laid against police who shot and killed two people in Montreal last year, including an innocent bystander on his way to work.
A statement from the province's Director of Penal and Criminal Prosecutions about the June 2011 tragedy said there were no grounds for charges.
"No criminal infraction was committed by officers with the Montreal Police Service," said the statement issued Thursday.
That assessment was based on an investigation by provincial police — who reviewed the work of the Montreal police officers involved in the shootings.
The incident earned national attention, triggered an angry anti-police march, and prompted calls for procedural changes at Quebec's police forces.
Officers shot a homeless man, Mario Hamel, during a public disturbance. Their gunfire also struck Patrick Limoges, who happened to be walking by on his way to work at a nearby hospital.
Montreal police said they were called as a knife-wielding Hamel tossed garbage around downtown Montreal. Hamel, a mentally ill 40-year-old who lived in a downtown shelter, was cornered by police, ordered to drop his weapon, pepper-sprayed, and ultimately shot.
The 36-year-old Limoges was across the street when he was struck by a police bullet.
In Quebec, it is customary when a police force is involved in a shooting for another to handle the investigation. The debate over who should be leading those investigations was rekindled following the tragedy.
The provincial government has since introduced reforms intended create a civilian oversight body that would monitor such investigations. But its critics — including Quebec's ombudsman — have said the changes don't go far enough because police still have too much latitude.
That 2011 incident and other recent shootings involving police in Montreal have also prompted adjustments to intervention tactics, like making a few more tasers available.